Shinobi is an excellent (and very famous) arcade action game debuted in 1987 in the arcades by Sega. The game was converted to multiple home computer systems and video game consoles. The Nintendo NES version was developed in 1989.
STORY / GAMEPLAY Since its debut, the game was featured in eleven official Shinobi titles, in many gaming systems. The story goes like this: You control a master ninja named Joe Musashi who has to stop a crime organization called "Zeed". The "Zeeds" are kidnapping children from the Oboro clan to demand ransoms from their relatives or to do some experiments for their own purposes. Through five missions of gradually increasing difficulty, Joe Musashi must fight his way to Zeed's headquarters and free all the hostages before confronting some formidable fighters known as the "Ring of Five" who appear at the end of each level. The game's five missions are split into three or four stages in which Musashi must rescue all the captive children before he is allowed to complete the stage. There are also some levels in first person mode, in which you throw shurikens to destroy targets and gain bonuses. Shinobi's main weapon is the "shuriken" (aka the throwing ninja star-blade) and a knife that's used for close encounters. As an extra weapon, Joe can use a gun collected by killing some enemies, but with limited ammunition. One of the most important moves in the game is Shinobi's somersault, performed by tapping the jump button a second time and needs some strategic timing. Overall, the game is a masterpiece in every version and needs some gaming skills to complete!
GRAPHICS / SOUND The ZX Spectrum conversion has nice visuals with detailed backgrounds and sprites plus some nice animation. But due to color clash, it's sometimes hard to avoid enemy fire, so you die instantly in most cases. As for the game's sound, I was really pleased with this. The ZX conversion features in-game tune which are oddly missing from the C64 counterpart and though the sound effects are simplistic, the well composed tunes balance this cons!
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CPU: Z80 @ 3.5 MHz MEMORY: 16 KB / 48 KB / 128 KB GRAPHICS: Video output is through an RF modulator and was designed for use with contemporary portable television sets, for a simple colour graphic display. Features a palette of 15 shades: seven colours at two levels of brightness each, plus black. The image resolution is 256x192 with the same colour limitations. SOUND: Early models (48k) had sound output through a beeper on the machine itself. This is capable of producing one channel with 10 octaves. Late models (128k) fetured a three-channel audio via the AY-3-8912 chip, MIDI compatibility